Order of Business.

Wednesday, 22 June 1988

Seanad Eireann Debate
Vol. 120 No. 7

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Mr. Lanigan: Information on Mick Lanigan  Zoom on Mick Lanigan  It is intended to take Items Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 today. Item No. 4 will be taken between 6.30 p.m. and 8 p.m. We will take the Housing Bill today and at some stage during the day we can discuss whether we will resume the Radio and Television Bill and the Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Bill. The House will adjourn at 10 o'clock tonight.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  The Leader of the House says he is taking the Housing Bill today. Is it just Second Stage? There will be amendments from the Labour Party to this Bill and I do not want to have it rushed through today or tonight. We want to know now exactly what programme the Leader of the House has for this legislation. Is it proposed to conclude Second Stage today?

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  I reiterate what Senator Ferris has said. Another matter I will have to take up at another time is that I would like precise clarification on the intention of the Government side with regard to the Housing Bill. Is it proposed to complete Second Stage today and when is it proposed to take Committee Stage and Report Stage? I want to assure the Government that not only will I have [888] substantial amendments on Committee Stage, but I also anticipate having an equally substantial number of amendments on Report Stage.

The proper way is to separate each Stage by a substantial period of time to enable each Stage to be taken and prepared comprehensively, which is the way to deal with all legislation. It behoves the Leader of the House to make it precisely clear and not tell us we will see later on and we will have the Whips' consultations later. I do not want to claim to speak for my own group but I know they have been dissatisfied in the past with uncertainties and lack of clarity. Can the Leader of the House tell us what he proposes to do? Does he intend to take the Radio and Television Bill at some stage today or is it simply there in the unlikely event of the debate on the Housing Bill finishing? Can he also tell us when is it proposed to adjourn this evening?

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  He said 10 o'clock.

Professor Murphy: Information on John A Murphy  Zoom on John A Murphy  A Chathaoirligh, I propose that Item No. 8 be added to the Order of Business and I hope you will let me explain why I think it should be so added. The matters mentioned there are of perennial concern. As Senators will know, at one stage that item was very much on top of the Order of Business but it has been sliding down for quite some time. I suggest that it is very urgent that we should discuss it now. Notwithstanding what has been said earlier, there is a large question mark over what people in this House really mean by the phrase “forces of occupation” in the context of 1988.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Senator Murphy, you do not have to make a speech about it now.

Professor Murphy: Information on John A Murphy  Zoom on John A Murphy  It is highly relevant. There is an additional relevance now that we should discuss this matter and so I propose that we add it to the Order of Business.

Mr. Ross: Information on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Zoom on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  I would like to second [889] Senator Murphy's proposal. I am not going to make a speech.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  You will not be allowed to do so.

Mr. Ross: Information on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Zoom on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  I want to make a very poignant and serious point of order.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  It is the same thing.

Mr. Ross: Information on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Zoom on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  That is for you to judge when I have made it, a Chathaoirligh, not to anticipate, I suspect. There was a procedural difficulty about putting motions on the Order Paper about subjects related to this between you, a Chathaoirligh, and me. It seems that some of those motions which I put down were ruled out of order for a reason which I do not understand. Under Standing Order 27 you ruled out of order certain motions which I put on the Order Paper.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  I have made my ruling. Letters have gone to you and I have explained to you personally, and my ruling you accept, and please sit down.

Mr. Ross: Information on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Zoom on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  I accept your ruling but presumably I am allowed to explain it to the House because it is an important point of order. It is very difficult in this House to discuss Anglo-Irish relations.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  You are being disorderly.

Mr. Ross: Information on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Zoom on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Is it in order to protect Members of the House under Standing Order 27.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Senator Ross, sit down.

Mr. Lanigan: Information on Mick Lanigan  Zoom on Mick Lanigan  The Order of Business remains as I have said. Items Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 are being ordered for today. If the wish of the House is that Committee Stage and Report Stage of the Housing Bill should not be taken today, then so be it. I think we should leave it open and consultations can take place later on [890] today on whether we will take Committee and Report Stages.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I do not want to be out of order——

Mr. Lanigan: Information on Mick Lanigan  Zoom on Mick Lanigan  At any time during the day the House can change the Order of Business by order of the House.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  That is the problem. If Senator Ryan and myself happen to be out of the House for five minutes, the remaining Members in the House can decide to take all Stages of the Housing Bill, as happened on another Bill previously. We want to co-operate.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Lanigan: Information on Mick Lanigan  Zoom on Mick Lanigan  I said if the House wishes we can take all Stages today and if the House wishes not to take all Stages, so be it. At some stage later in the day if the Whips decide to take Committee and Report Stages, then the House decides.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I want to object to that procedure, especially for legislation like this which is deficient.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Senator Ferris, you are out of order.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I might be out of order but because of the way it is now being put it makes it impossible for those of us who have an interest in this Bill to make a contribution or to be here all the time. At times that is impossible, much as I try.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Let me ask the House what has happened to the consultations which used to go on between the Whips regarding the work?

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  Do you want an answer?

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Something happened in the interim. What has happened?

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I can tell you and I want to put it on the record. The Labour Party [891] are rarely, if ever, consulted by the Whips on any subject.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Is the Order of Business agreed?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. W. Ryan: Information on William Ryan  Zoom on William Ryan  On a point of order, that is not correct.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Wait until one of the Whips has a chance to——

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  Can the Whip wait until I have finished? I want him to be absolutely clear about what I said. I said “rarely, if ever” which means that we are occasionally contacted.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I am not finished.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  You are finished.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I am for now. I want to continue.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Senator Ferris, I want to clear the Order of Business. The consultations which went on since 1977 between the Whips went on outside and we did not have this pettiness on the floor here every day. I appreciate that you have a problem. It is not for me to fix it for you. It is for you to go along and deal with the Whips.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  When you clear the Order of Business here today it could so happen that in two hours' time those remaining in this House could change everything that you have Chaired. I want to ensure that this does not happen with the Housing Bill. I want the Housing Bill to be passed as quickly as possible. It has taken long enough to get it——

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Senator Ferris, give us a chance to see if we can get what you want done.

[892]Mr. W. Ryan: Information on William Ryan  Zoom on William Ryan  I want to say that what Senator Ferris said about not being consulted is absolutely rubbish.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I object to that. I am lodging that objection now.

Mr. W. Ryan: Information on William Ryan  Zoom on William Ryan  I have always gone out of my way to inform the three Members who represent the Labour Party in this House and I am not going to do it in future. I am under no obligation to do it. I consult the Leader and Whips of Fine Gael and the Independents because they have groups. Out of courtesy to the Labour Party, I have always done so.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  That is not true.

Mr. W. Ryan: Information on William Ryan  Zoom on William Ryan  Another statement has been made by Senator Ferris that some people cannot be trusted in this House.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I did not say that.

Mr. W. Ryan: Information on William Ryan  Zoom on William Ryan  Senator Ferris said that if he was out of the House the people in the House could change the business. That never happens. If a debate collapses for want of speakers it is not the Government's fault and that is what happened last week.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  I am not referring just to a debate that collapsed last week. There is no agreement whatsoever in this House about doing anything now.

Mr. Ross: Information on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Zoom on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  The Leader of the House has not answered in regard to Item No. 8. We do not know whether the Fianna Fáil Party are to continue to be gagged on Anglo-Irish relations.

Mr. Lanigan: Information on Mick Lanigan  Zoom on Mick Lanigan  I did not get a chance to answer regarding the position on Item No. 8 because I was asked specific questions bout Items Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Item No. 8 is not being taken.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Is the Order of Business agreed?

Professor Murphy: Information on John A Murphy  Zoom on John A Murphy  No.

[893]An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Senator Murphy has moved an amendment to the Order of Business.

Mr. J. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  Could I raise a query please on the Order of Business?

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  We have the Order of Business concluded.

Mr. J. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  I want to clarify one thing. I want a simple answer. Is the Leader of the House saying there will be no change in the Order of Business without consultations with the Whips?

Mr. Lanigan: Information on Mick Lanigan  Zoom on Mick Lanigan  Yes.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Is the Order of Business agreed?

Senators:  No.

[894]An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Is there an amendment to the Order of Business?

Senators:  Yes.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  Is it seconded?

Mr. Ross: Information on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  Zoom on Shane Peter Nathaniel Ross  I second it.

Question put: “That Item No. 8 be taken today”.

Professor Murphy: Information on John A Murphy  Zoom on John A Murphy  Vótáil.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  The question is: “That Item No. 8 be taken today”. On that question a division has been challenged. Will those Senators calling for a division please rise in their places?

Senators Murphy, O'Shea, J. O'Toole, Robb, Ross and B. Ryan stood.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Tras Honan  Zoom on Tras Honan  The division will now proceed.

Bradford, Paul.
Bulbulia, Katharine.
Connor, John.
Doyle, Joe.
Ferris, Michael.
Kelleher, Peter.
Loughrey, Joachim.
McDonald, Charlie.
Manning, Maurice.
Murphy, John A.
O'Shea, Brian.
O'Toole, Joe.
Reynolds, Gerry.
Robb, John D.A.
Ross, Shane P.N.
Ryan, Brendan.

Bohan, Edward Joseph.
Byrne, Seán.
Cassidy, Donie.
Doherty, Michael.
Eogan, George.
Fallon, Seán.
Fitzgerald, Tom.
Fitzsimons, Jack.
Haughey, Seán F.
Hillery, Brian.
Kiely, Rory.
Lanigan, Mick.
Lydon, Donal.
McEllistrim, Tom.
McGowan, Patrick.
McKenna, Tony.
Mooney, Paschal.
Mullooly, Brian.
Mulroy, Jimmy.
O'Callaghan, Vivian.
O'Connell, John.
O'Conchubhair, Nioclás.
O'Toole, Martin J.
Ryan, William.

Question declared lost.

Order of Business agreed to.


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